Capping IT Off

Capping IT Off

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The various DevOps pitfalls & How to avoid them

DevOps is simple, right? Wrong. The concept of DevOps might be simple, however the implementation is not. The following short blog will try to point out some of the key pitfalls.

There are plenty of DevOps related mistakes an organisations can make. One is to treat DevOps as a solution that can simply be implemented. Another one is to see DevOps as Tools only. Some organisations seem to believe that all that is needed is to move staff from an internal IT / infra focused organisation into Apps driven PODs and “everything” should work.

Many are then surprised and disappointed that instead of faster, better and cheaper its slower, with more outages and spiraling costs. Why? See here my views on the root causes:

Top IT Leadership Mistakes

  • Lack of clear vision and communication of the vision
  • Assuming DevOps can be bought "in a Box"
  • Failing to breakdown the silos…or simply moving them; or worse, creating new ones
  • Not providing room for change
  • Delegating and failing to engage
  • Treating DevOps as an end goal
  • Treating DevOps as a simple answer to a simple question
  • Starting where there is “less need”
  • Trying to move the whole organisation at once
  • Failing to "spread the fire" through champions & community
  • Not allowing room for new processes & mistakes

Technology

  • Not having a DevOps transformation solution
  • Not having dynamically provisioned environments. i.e., a cloud
  • Ignoring the importance of monitoring & metrics
  • Failing to rationalize the toolset
  • Not disabling SSH
  • Underestimating the importance of versioning
  • Codebase not ready for frequent releases

Business

  • Lack of clear vision and communication of the vision
  • Not managing agile expectations
  • Not giving cross-functional teams a seat at the table
  • Failing to prove/show the ROI
  • Failing to tie the business to IT goals
  • Deploying changes before the business is ready

Development

  • Hiring a DevOps engineer
  • Being “too busy” to participate
  • Failing to address the culture
  • Not changing KPIs and incentives

Quality Assurance

  • Thinking QA can’t drive DevOps
  • Holding on their previous process based on static test environments
  • Failing to Optimize their testing triangle
  • Not fully understanding what a DevOps QA group looks like

Top Operations Mistakes

  • Being open to DevOps but not wanting to change processes
  • Seeing Dev as the root of all problems
  • Failing to embrace new platforms in production
  • Not monitoring business outcomes
  • Not giving Dev & QA a view into operations

Top Vendor Mistakes

  • Excluding your vendors from DevOps
  • Not changing the way you interact with your vendors
  • Failure to re-assess your globalization strategy
  • Failing to address vendor incentives and control
  • Inhibiting vendor competition

Transformation

  • Being too focused on tools & technologies
  • Thinking DevOps is anything more than process excellence
  • Trying to eat the elephant in one bite
  • Creating a DevOps team that has no idea how you operate
  • Thinking DevOps is a quick project
  • Missing a business case
  • Not knowing the As-Is
  • Being "planlos" (have no plan)

DevOps is not a solution or a simple answer to a complex question and to successfully deploy "DevOps" capabilities an organisation has to address many aspects and avoid numerous pitfalls.

Thanks for reading.

Thanks to Steve Horning for sharing many of these with me.

About the Author: Gunnar Menzel has been an IT professional for over 27 years and is VP and Chief Architect Officer for Capgemini’s Cloud Infrastructure Business. His main focus is business - enabling technology transformation & innovation.

References: [1] Gartner, Seven Steps to Start Your DevOps Initiative, 16 September 2014, G00270249, Ronni J. Colville;

Further Reading : [2] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/devops-what-best-organizational-structure-me-gunnar-menzel [3] Step-by-step approach to reach your DevOps Target Operating Model [4] Agile, DevOps & Lean Unlocked [5] DevOps; a simple answer to a simple question? [6] DevOps - Don't be left behind [7] DevOps - The Future of Application Lifecycle Automation / Part 6 [8] Matthew Skelton, October 2012, https://blog.matthewskelton.net/2013/10/22/what-team-structure-is-right-for-devops-to-flourish/ [9] Pool, POD or Team? Deciding DevOps related people structures

About the author

Gunnar Menzel, VP Enterprise Architect
Gunnar Menzel, VP Enterprise Architect

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